Tag Archives: Mad Men

That’s the ticket

Entourage-MovieI never watched Entourage.

Much like Lost, Mad Men and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I just didn’t get around to it.

Yet after each season was over, I survived without them.

And I felt stronger. Better. Faster.

My friend Wendy Molyneux, who happens to be a writer for the very watchable and Emmy-winning Bob’s Burgers, not only didn’t watch Entourage, she hated it. With a singular passion.

In fact, the only way she will watch the new Entourage movie is if she can raise $10,000 to donate to CureSearch. Because she hates pediatric cancers even more than she  hates Entourage.

Me, I hate every kind of cancer. And I want to help Wendy raise the money as quickly as possible. Plus, I kinda love the idea of her sitting through this film. She’ll probably tweet her agony to the masses, and that will be hilarious.

So give if you can.  We both appreciate it.

Context

If you dropped someone from the pre-Internet era onto this train — let’s say Don Draper from Mad Men just for the fun of it….

image

…would he jump up, expecting the upholstery to burn his butt?

Think about it.

Killer enthusiasm

This morning I saw Jon Hamm featured in a promo on AMC for “Thanksgiving with the Godfather.”  Apparently the cable channel plans to show Parts I and II on Turkey Day, and Hamm was talking about how much the series of movies means to him.

Oh, what a different story I would tell.

When I first saw “The Godfather,” I thought it was a great movie, too.  I’m not a big fan of Mafia subject matter, but you can’t deny the performances.

But then I took a college class in film criticism, and my instructor was a huge “Godfather” fan.  He liked the movie so much, we spent six weeks — count ’em, six weeks — dissecting every word and gesture and thought and whisper in that film.

His enthusiasm for that movie killed any warmth I might have felt for it.  I can’t  even look at it anymore.

The very strains of “The Godfather” theme music make me physically ill.

The only reason I could watch the promo for “Thanksgiving with the Godfather” is because Jon Hamm was so prominently featured.

We can only hope that whack professor doesn’t ever do a class on “Mad Men.”

Smart people?

They are the joke of the entertainment community.  The redheaded stepchild of awards season.  The first awards show of the year, yet the predictor of nothing.

They are…the People’s Choice Awards.

I mean, seriously — how could you not watch?

The only stars in the audience are the winners…it’s like they know ahead of time or something.  They sit in the audience, not good enough actors to hide their embarrassment at being there.  You will occasionally catch a smirk on their faces as they watch the opening number or winch at the bad writing.

Heck, in this year’s open, sung with enormous gusto by host Queen Latifah, one of the lyrics actually said:

“You can run, but you can’t hide from the People’s Choice Awards.”

Nice, guys.  You’re supposed to think it…not say it aloud.

Some of them even struggle to keep straight faces during their acceptance speeches, which are always a variation on the “this matters so much because it’s from you, the people” theme.

You can also count on the winners of the People’s Choice Awards — voted on by you, the people — to be about five years behind the critical choices of the more prestigious awards ceremonies.  For example, Hugh Laurie won Best Actor, Drama and “House” won Best TV Drama.  Both are great, but I think you would agree some newer shows have come along  — “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad,” for instance — that deserve recognition.

Which begs the question: who is voting in the People’s Choice Awards?  Who are these people?  Whoever they are, they apparently stopped watching television quite a while back…and their taste in movies nearly always lands on the most blockbluster, family-friendly fare.

In fact, of all the awards shows, the People’s Choice Awards appears on the surface to be the most rigged…and yet, the people are supposedly doing the voting.

We simply can’t be trusted.

One note

Has a mere fortnight passed since I praised the writers of “Saturday Night Live” — and musical/guest host Taylor Swift — for a very, very funny show?

Seems so long ago now.

They followed that stellar evening with the hosting tragedy of January Jones from “Mad Men.”  Funny — she and Taylor are both tall, beautiful blondes, but wow — the comparisons end there.  January couldn’t tell a joke, keep a straight face, play different characters — hell, even read a cue card.

Some people are born to play supporting roles.

On a more positive note, our friend Jason Sudeikis was in pretty much every sketch…so good for him.

Last night’s show had tremendous potential in the guest hosting turn of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  His most recent movie was the oh-so-wonderful anti-romantic comedy “500 Days of Summer,” but he has been equally brilliant in darker indie films like “Brick” and “Mysterious Skin.”

Joe had a much better show overall, but SNL fell into one of its old habits, which kept Joe’s show from being a Taylor Swift uber-success:  they found out that he could sing — something we haven’t seen him do much on TV or film — and they had him sing the entire show.

Uhh….why?

Joe singing his monologue was surprising and funny.  But then Joe played a Latin American singer in the next game show sketch…and sang.  Then Joe played singer Jason Mraz in a talk show sketch — and sang.  Then Joe played a cruise ship singer — and sang  — in a Thanksgiving dinner sketch.

We get it.  Joe can sing.  But is that all you guys got?

Taylor Swift is a singer, but she only sang her monologue and one other “greatest hits” commercial spoof.  Joe, the film actor, sang more than Taylor Swift, the CMA Entertainer of the Year.  And I’m including her musical numbers.

I’m surprised they didn’t have Joe sing something during Weekend Update. (Don’t worry, guys — you can use that idea on your next show.

Maddening Men

If you are trying to think of a good costume for Halloween, perhaps you should go as a talented, female, Emmy-award winning writer.  Apparently that is one really scary get-up in Hollywood…so scary, it can get you fired.

Kater Gordon, a writer for the critically-acclaimed TV drama “Mad Men,” was fired less than a month after she won an Emmy for writing on the show.  She took home the Emmy, along with series creator Matthew Weiner, for an episode called “Meditations in an Emergency.”

When they accepted the award, Weiner began, “Only one person can talk, so…” to which Gordon countered, “So I’m gonna hold the Emmy.”  He gave his thanks, and they left the stage with Gordon doing a lot of smiling, but no talking.

At the time, I thought it was kinda rude.  Weiner pretty much knew he was going to be back up on stage to accept the “Best Drama” Emmy later that evening, so why couldn’t Gordon have had her moment?  But, alas, he is the boss.

And apparently his need for control and attention extend beyond media events.  He fired Gordon reportedly because he felt “she had fulfilled her potential.”  Uh huh.  I think that’s code for “back up, chick, this show is mine.”

Whatever the true reason, it comes off badly in the popular press.  Instead of celebrating the good fortune of a staffer who he groomed from personal assistant to full-time writer, he cut her loose at the moment of their biggest triumph.

Sounds like Dr. Frankenstein is frightened of his creation…